Shaving dates back tens of thousands of years, and it's gone in and out of fashion more times than we can count. And for a time in 1945, there was an idea to replace razors with a series of hair treatments involving X-rays (!) Plus: Hannah Grace is a makeup artist in the UK who has won lots of fans by turning herself into optical illusions.
The History of Shaving and Beards (Old Farmer's Almanac)
Shaving with X-rays (Weird Universe)
Woman Spends Up to 11 Hours Turning Herself Into the Most Stunning Optical Illusions (Oddity Central)
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This week in 1960, Richard Nixon campaigned at a cookout in Sullivan, Illinois, eating some of a Buffalo barbecue sandwich before giving his speech. A young Boy Scout, Steve Jenne, took the rest of Nixon's sandwich home and has kept it in the freezer for the last 60 years! Plus: if you're missing cubicles and conference tables these days, there's a new soundscape, Calm Office, that might help.
Watch now: Richard Nixon ate a sandwich in Sullivan 60 years ago. Here's the story of the man who kept it. (Decatur Herald&Review)
Because People Miss The Office Sounds (Neatorama)
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UCLA scientists have made little thermoelectric coolers that are only 100 nanometers wide, so small the eye can't see them on its own. They're not quite refrigerators yet, but if you have little sodas or bags of grapes, maybe reach out anyway. Plus: on the International Day of Sign Languages, we celebrate the amazing world of sign language interpreters at heavy metal concerts.
UCLA scientists create world’s smallest ‘refrigerator’ (UCLA)
10 Epic Sign Language Interpreters at Metal Shows (YouTube)
International Day of Sign Languages (United Nations)
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Nobody likes being stuck at a stoplight, but before there were systems in place to make drivers take turns, the roads were not good. Here are a few of the inventions that helped us (mostly) stop crashing into each other. Plus: why did Syracuse, New York set up an upside-down stoplight, with green on top?
A Brief History of the Stoplight (Smithsonian)
There’s No Other Traffic Light In America Like This One In New York (Only In Your State)
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The Disgusting Food Museum in southern Sweden has a new exhibit on the strangest alcoholic drinks of all time, proving that people will drink some truly revolting concoctions in pursuit of a buzz. Plus: remember how Asbestos, Quebec was going to choose one of four replacement names for the town? Those plans are on hold, cause apparently the people of Asbestos aren't big fans of the new names.
Squirrel beer, ant gin and poop wine are served up in Disgusting Food Museum's new exhibit (LiveScience)
Town of Asbestos back to the drawing board after lacklustre response to renaming options (CBC)
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The community of Asbestos, Quebec has decided to rename itself. Now it's up to the residents to decide whether the town should be named Trois-Lacs, Apalone, Phénix or - wait for it - Jeffrey. Plus: on this National Cheeseburger Day, did you know there's an 1,800 pound burger on the menu at a place in Detroit?
Asbestos in Quebec Shortlists Four New Names to Get Fresh Start (Bloomberg)
World's Largest Burger Costs $8,000 (Food and Wine)
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A sensor developed at MIT uses a set of microneedles to push through packaging and determine whether the food inside is safe to eat, which could prevent food waste and help head off outbreaks of salmonella. Plus: did you know China is apparently home to several thousand glass footbridges, where you can walk across and see what's underneath?
Velcro-like food sensor detects spoilage and contamination (MIT)
Would You Walk on the World’s Longest Glass Bridge? (Hyperallergic)
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44 years ago today, Shavarsh Karapetyan, a finswimming champion in Armenia did something extraordinary, saving at least 20 passengers who were trapped in a trolleybus that had gone into a lake. Has anybody done a biopic about this guy yet? Plus: meet Mieko Nagaoka, who in April 2015 became the first 100-year old swimmer to finish the 1,500 meter freestyle.
The Plunge (Grantland)
100-year-old Japanese woman sets her own 1,500-metre freestyle swim record (The Guardian)
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The Cold Tube cools people off, similar to air conditioning, but using half the energy. Which sounds pretty cool. Plus: an experimental musician makes a delicious and funky new keyboard out of watermelon and kiwi.
Innovative personal cooling system uses half the energy of traditional AC (Anthropocene)
This is the Funkiest Sounding Watermelon You Will Ever Hear (The Sifter)
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A lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair just sold for $81,000 at auction, a reminder that a) people will pay lots of money for lots of things, and b) hair was a pretty important keepsake in the 19th century - people back then even made it into art. Plus: a couple in England decides to upgrade their garden, which the husband decides means installing a 12-foot statue of a T. rex.
The Curious Victorian Tradition of Making Art from Human Hair (Artsy)
Lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair sells for more than $81,000 (ABC News)
What a disat-saur! Husband shocks wife who suggested he liven up their garden by installing a 12-ft replica T-REX on the patio (Daily Mail)
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A study out of Ohio State University found that people who take acetaminophen, one of the most common over-the-counter painkillers, are apparently more willing to take risks. Plus: the story of a guy who ended up taking quite a risk by setting up a tent - he just didn’t know it at the time.
A pain reliever that alters perceptions of risk (Ohio State University)
How this Nova Scotia man ended up accidentally camping in the Atlantic Ocean (CBC)
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